Energy Statistics Newsletter

United Nations - Department of Economic and Social Affairs- Statistics Division- Energy Section

Issue Number 4, December 2009


Dear Readers,

Welcome to the current issue of the United Nations Energy Statistics Newsletter that aims to update you on activities and recent developments of the United Nations Energy Statistics Section. This Issue of the Newsletter covers major activities and developments that occurred in 2009. We hope that you find the newsletter useful and we invite you to send us feedback at energy_stat@un.org.



Update on the preparation of the International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (IRES)

The year 2009 has been very busy with the preparation of the International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (IRES). Following the discussion during the third Oslo Group meeting in Vienna, Austria (4-6 February 2008), the results of the worldwide consultation (May 2008), and the International Workshop on Energy Statistics, Aguascalientes, Mexico (December 2008), draft chapters of IRES were drafted and discussed with the objective to prepare for the Oslo Group. The following are the main events that characterized the preparation of IRES in 2009:
 
4th Oslo Group Meeting in Ottawa, Canada (2-6 February 2009)
The meeting was dedicated to the review of the status of preparation of IRES and the discussion of preliminary drafts and/or outlines of IRES chapters. The meeting discussed preliminary drafts of the following chapters: Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: Scope of Energy Statistics; Chapter 3: Standard International Energy Classification; Chapter 4: Measurement units; chapter 5: Energy Flows; chapter 6: Statistical units and data items; Chapter 9: Data Quality; and Chapter 10 Data Dissemination. The meeting also discussed the outlines of chapter 7: Data sources and data compilation strategies, chapter 8: Energy Balances, chapter 11: Use of Energy Balances in Compilation of Energy Accounts and Other Statistics.
 
During the meeting, the Oslo Group agreed to the process to finalize IRES as proposed by UNSD. This process envisaged the following steps: (i) the preparation of a complete draft of IRES and its discussion at the next Oslo group Meeting in February 2010; (ii) a second stage of the worldwide consultation on the provisional draft of IRES; and (iii) an expert group meeting to review the results of the worldwide consultation and advise on further amendments to the provisional draft for its submission to the UN Statistical Commission for adoption. As modus operandi, the Oslo Group agreed to form chapter teams to further discuss specific issues of each chapter and prepare a revised version of the chapters for an electronic discussion with the Oslo Group (see virtual meeting below) in 2009.
 
40th UN Statistical Commission (24-27 February 2009)
The UN Statistical Commission at its 40th session discussed energy statistics. In particular, it discussed: (i) the needs for the preparation and updating of the international recommendations for energy statistics; (ii) the UNSD strategy with respect to the organization of the revision and updating process; and (iii) its action plan for 2009-2011. The Commission endorsed the UNSD strategy as described in the Secretary General report and suggested that the preparation of the recommendations be considered a matter of high priority.

Subgroup of the Oslo Group on Energy Balances (Oslo, Norway 18-20 May 2009)
Following the decision taken at the 4th Oslo Group Meeting to form a sub-group on energy balances, a meeting was organized by Statistics Norway, the convener of the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics. The main objective of the meeting was to further advance the preparation of recommendations for chapter 8 of IRES on Energy Balances. To this end the meeting: reviewed national and international balance format; discussed common principles for the compilation of energy balances and how to reflect them in IRES; and discussed an outline for chapter 8 on energy balances.

The meeting agreed on a number of principles to be reflected in IRES and formulated a plan of work on energy balances with the objective to have a complete draft chapter for the next Oslo Group meeting in February 2010. For more information, please visit the Oslo group website at: http://og.ssb.no/iresmainpage/energybalance.

Consultation with the Expert Group on Classification
The Expert Group on Classification convened its meeting in New York in September 2009 to review the status of the work on international classifications and, among other things, review the preparation of new classifications. Given the importance of a standard international classification of energy products for IRES based on basic principles of international statistical classifications, UNSD informed the Expert Group on the status of work. The Expert Group was informed of the developments of this classification.
 
While noting that the proposed classification is still very early in its development, the Expert Group had a number of suggestions. In general, the Expert Group supported the development of such a classification and urged the Oslo Group to prepare and provide available documentation to the Expert Group members for its review and comments. The full report of the meeting as well as other material submitted to the meeting is available online at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/class/intercop/expertgroup/default.asp.

1st and 2nd Virtual Meeting (September and November 2009)
In preparation of the first complete draft of IRES for the 5th Oslo Group Meeting, Cork, Ireland (February 2010), two virtual meetings were organized in order to review revised drafts for chapters 1-6 and initial drafts for chapters 7, 8, 11. Teams were established for each chapter by members of the Oslo Group. In particular, Statistics Canada lead the preparation of Chapter 9 on Data Quality; the INEGI of Mexico lead the preparation of Chapter 7 on Data Sources and Data Compilation Strategies; and Statistics Austria lead the preparation of Chapter 11 on the Use of Energy Balances in Compilation of Energy Accounts and Other Statistics.

Members of the Oslo Group actively participated in the virtual meetings and provided a number of substantive and textual inputs. UNSD was overall responsible for coordinating the work of the teams, including the comments received during the virtual meeting and preparing the first complete draft for discussion at the 5th Oslo Group meeting.
 
 
Seminar on Energy Statistics: Challenges and Ways Forward (February 2009)

UNSD and Statistics Norway, as the convener of the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics, organized an Energy Statistics Seminar to inform delegates of the 40th session of the UN Statistical Commission on the work carried out in energy statistics and, in particular, to: (i) discuss the need for international recommendations for energy statistics; (ii) present challenges in developing these recommendations; (iii) emphasize the importance of making energy statistics an integral part of official statistics; (iv) and discuss the way forward in the field. Presentations were given by Mr. Vladimir Markhonko: Chief, Trade Statistics Branch, United Nations Statistics Division and Mr. Olav Ljones, Assistant Director General, Statistics Norway and Chair of the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics. The presentations are available online at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/statcom_09/seminars/energy/Energy_2009.html.
 
The seminar was attended by about 50 participants. Participants welcomed the organization of the seminar and supported the preparation of the International Recommendation for Energy Statistics (IRES). It was noted that in countries the collection and dissemination of energy statistics is often not with the national statistical offices, rather with the line ministries. Thus, the international recommendation should serve as a reference document for the data collection, compilation and dissemination in the national statistical system independently on where the programme is institutionally located.
 
Participants also welcomed the UNSD’s efforts to engage more developing countries in the preparation of the international recommendations through, for example, the International Workshop on Energy Statistics (which was held in Mexico, 2-5 December 2008, to consult with developing countries, on issues they face in the collection, compilation and dissemination of energy statistics) and the worldwide consultation process that has established by UNSD. In addition, countries were encouraged to participate in the substantive discussion, through the electronic discussion forum of the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics and the virtual meetings that are planned to be organized in 2009. UNSD, within its resources, will seek ways to either organize additional fora for the review of IRES and/or facilitate the participation of developing countries to the Oslo Group meetings.
 
Particular support was expressed in the seminar for the identification in IRES of data items for the collection, compilation and dissemination of energy statistics as well as the provision of guidelines on data collection and dissemination. Participants expressed support of the harmonization of questionnaires on energy statistics. In this respect, it was explained that UNSD and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are currently exploring possibilities to harmonize their questionnaires in light of the work on IRES and the underlying harmonization of concepts and definitions. This will reduce duplication of work and response burden to countries.
 
It was considered very important for IRES to provide guidelines for effective coordination of activities in energy statistics. This would benefit those countries where, even though the coordination of statistical activities within countries is generally in place and mandated to the national statistical offices, the coordination does not function effectively because, for example, of lack of resources.
 
 
Report to the 40th Statistical Commission

The UN Statistical Commission at its 40th session discussed the report on the progress of work on the revised manual on energy statistics – mandated by the Commission its 37th session in 2006. The report (available online at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/doc09/2009-4-Energy-SG-E.pdf) – described the need for the preparation and updating of the international recommendations for energy statistics, outlined the UNSD strategy with respect to the organization of the revision and updating process, described actions undertaken, and provided a summary of the action plan for 2009-2011. As a result of the discussion. the Commission:

(a) Welcomed the report of the Secretary-General on the preparation of the revised and updated international recommendations for energy statistics3 and expressed its appreciation for the work accomplished so far by the United Nations Statistics Division, the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics, the Intersecretariat Working Group on Energy Statistics and other stakeholders;

(b) Endorsed the United Nations Statistics Division strategy to prepare the international recommendations for energy statistics, and suggested that the preparation of the recommendations be considered a matter of high priority;

(c) Emphasized that the revised recommendations should provide a firm foundation for the long-term development of official energy statistics based on the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and contain the necessary guidance on the underlying concepts, definition and classifications as well as on data compilation and data dissemination in the context of an integrated approach to economic statistics;

(d) Stressed the importance of close cooperation in the development of the recommendations of all relevant international, supranational and regional organizations to avoid overlap of activities and to ensure consistency of concepts and methodologies;

(e) Stressed the importance of the involvement of countries in the preparation of the recommendations, and encouraged countries to actively participate in the drafting process by providing their contributions.

For the full report of the Commission, please visit: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/doc09/Report-English.pdf


Collection and compilation of Energy statistics – 2008

The 2008 UNSD Annual Energy Statistics Questionnaire is has been sent out to countries. The questionnaire is available in the six UN official languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The Questionnaire has been sent out in its long form to allow countries for a thorough review of the data available on the Energy database and introduce new production and/or transaction if necessary. For more information, please visit http://unstats.un.org/unsd/energy/quest.htm

The UNSD Energy Statistics Database for the years 1990 to 2007 are now available online at UNdata: http://data.un.org/



UNSD forthcoming publications

The 2007 Energy Statistics Yearbook and 2007 Energy Balances and Electricity Profiles have been finalized and are expected to be available in printed format mid 2010. For more information on the publications, please visit on our website at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/energy



Past meetings

7th International JODI Conference (Quito, Ecuador, 4-5 June 2009) was organized to assess progress made since the last International JODI Conference (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 2006) and to discuss the future development of this unique global transparency initiative. For more information, see http://www.jodidata.org/Conf07.shtm

InterEnerStat meeting (Paris, France, 22-23 October 2009) gathered international organizations and agencies engaged in the collection of energy statistics from countries at the global, regional and sectoral levels and major users of international energy statistics to discuss and harmonize definitions in energy statistics.

EGM on Compilation and Analysis of Energy Statistics and Indicators (Beirut, 3-5 March 2009) was organized by The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with MEDSTAT, International Energy Agency (IEA), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs' Statistics Division (UNSD). The objectives of the meeting were to train statistician in the collection and compilation of energy statistics and to discuss measures to improve the availability and reliability of energy statistics and the harmonization of definitions and methodologies. Representatives from 13 countries from the regions and 5 international/regional organizations attended the meeting. For more information, see http://www.escwa.un.org/information/meetingdetails.asp?referenceNum=928E
 
 
Forthcoming meetings

5th Oslo Group Meeting (Cork Ireland, 1-4 February 2010).   More information is available at: http://og.ssb.no/

41st session of the Statistical Commission (New York, 23-26 February 2010).   More information is available at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/sc2010.htm


Editorial Notes

The Energy Statistics newsletter is a bi-annual publication available on-line, prepared by the Energy Statistics Section of the United Nations Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations.

For further information and/or feedback, please contact United Nations Statistics Division, Energy Statistics Section, New York, NY10017, USA; email address: energy_stat@un.org or visit our website: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/energy/default.htm